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Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 05:21 GMT 06:21 UK
PC trade surges on company demand
Dell PC
Dell: still behind Compaq in Europe
Hopes that technology firms have seen the worst of the global economic downturn have grown, with a report showing a "surge" in computer demand.

The number of personal computers delivered in Europe, Africa and the Middle East rose 11.5% in the first three months of this year, a report by Gartner Dataquest said.

The news comes as the global technology sector is showing some signs of revival, helping the hi-tech Nasdaq stock market rise for four days in succession to hit two month highs.

But Gartner's report also indicated continued weakness in the home PC market, which slid 3.8%, year on year, in the Europe, Africa and Middle East regions.

Overall, PC shipments rose 7.2% to 9.7m units in the quarter.

Millennium Bug hangover

The rise in corporate PC spending has been put down to a recovery from the Millennium Bug hangover.

Concerns over the bug, which many experts feared could cause a worldwide crisis as computers failed to cope with the date change from 1999 to 2000, prompted a surge in spending on new equipment two years ago.

After this, with companies upgraded to new computers, there was much less call for replacing equipment, an industry expert said.

"The PC market was very flat for most of 2000," Gartner analyst Brian Gammage told BBC News Online.

"What the latest report shows is that the market is coming back. The figures should be good news.

"But the increase in PC replacements may prove unsustainable if the economic outlook continues to deteriorate."

Leading vendors

The survey also further highlighted the success of Dell in increasing its share of the PC market.

PC shipments, African, Europe, Middle East
1: Compaq, 1,304,000 (+12.4%)
2: Dell, 872,000 (+22.9%)
3: Hewlett-Packard, 773,000 (+35.1%)
4: Fujitsu Siemens, 753,000 (-10.8%)
5: IBM, 535,000 (+4.4%)
Others, 5,439,000 (+4.0%)
Total: 9,676,000 (+7.2%)

Data: Jan-Mar

Dell, which researchers two weeks ago said had ousted Compaq from the top spot in the global PC market, saw its overall shipments in Europe, Africa and the Middle East rise almost 23% between January and March, compared with the same period in 2000.

But Compaq retained number one position with a 13.5% market share.

Hewlett-Packard, which saw its share rise from 6.3% to 8.0%, was the best performer, with the Fujitsu Siemens partnership losing two places.

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See also:

20 Apr 01 | Business
Dell becomes world's top PC maker
22 Jan 01 | Business
Dell warns on profits
08 Apr 01 | Business
Dell admits hiring too many staff
16 Mar 01 | Business
Compaq cuts 5,000 jobs
04 Jan 01 | Business
PC sales fall in US
15 Feb 01 | Business
Death of the PC?
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